Native American Studies Collection Development Policy


The purpose of the Native American Studies Collection is to develop a research level collection related to the historical and contemporary conditions of Native American and Indigenous groups. The goal is to support instruction and research programs of the University as well as provide resources to undergraduates, doctoral students, and faculty whose studies focus on Native American cultures.

The collection serves the work of faculty members in the social sciences and the humanities such as, religious studies, Chicano studies, linguistics, anthropology, and history. Courses related to Native American Studies are also offered in different departments throughout the University.

Major areas of interest cover Native American religions and customs, historical and socio-cultural development, contemporary issues and problems, and creative writing. Instructional emphasis is in both the social sciences and humanities.

The Native American Studies collection materials are primarily located in the Native American Studies section within the Ethnic and Gender Studies Library (EGSL) in the Davidson Library.


Subject Areas
The following areas are the primary collections for Native American studies in Davidson Library. Materials in other disciplines are also sometimes selected.

  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Education
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Religion
  • Sociology

Language. Materials for the Native American Studies collection are primarily in English or English translation. Few items are collected in orignal Native American languages. Materials about indigenous groups from Spanish speaking countries and written in Spanish will be part of either the Chicano Studies collection or Latin American & Iberian Studies collection.

Chronological limits. There are no chronological limits applicable for this collection. The predominant time focus is from the beginnings of early Native American civilizations to the modern era.

Date of publication. Most materials selected for acquisition are published in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Geographical areas. The Native American Studies collection primarily contains materials about Native Americans in North America, predominately in the United States and Canada. There is also a small percentage of materials collected about indigenous groups from South America and the Pacific Islands.


The following types of materials are acquired: serials, monographs, audiovisual materials, government publications, and dissertations. Reference materials, research monographs, academic journals, and works from Native presses have a high priority in acquisition. North American university press titles are received on approval. Both scholarly and mainstream works from academic and trade publishers are acquired.

Primary Source materials and original documents that relate to Native American Studies are housed in the Davidson Library Special Collections Department.

Hard copy (paper) publications of monographs are emphasized with an occasional electronic book. Journal access may be print or electronic. To maximize limited resources, most journals will NOT be available in more than one format; in general, electronic versions are preferred, so long as they have reliable and perpetual access.

Reprints are generally not acquired unless augmented, revised, or containing some other new intellectual material. Textbooks are not actively selected.


Students, faculty and staff of UCSB have access to Interlibrary Loan services for obtaining materials from other campuses. For some acquisitions, other UC campus Native American and Indigenous Studies specialists are consulted for shared collection development decisions.

Click here for a complete list of UCSB Collection Development Policies.


Author: Liza Posas
Policy Last Updated: October 2004